It's a rathole...I priced out several options and went with an inexpensive and quite possibly also cheap (in the unflattering way) GE unit. The internaut abounds with expensive options that think they are cheap because they are less than what local plumbers are overcharging.
Water softeners certainly appear to be one of those realms where soaking the customer is the order of the day, because the average customer regards water softening as some sort of black magic, and is therefore susceptible to meaningless mumbo-jumbo. Toss in fear of plumbing and you have victims ripe for the plucking.
I ultimately decided that all their hype smelled foul. When this one dies I'll evaluate where we got to with it. It certainly uses less water and salt than the old dinosaur did. But it if only lives to the end of its warrantee (overpriced or hard-to-get repair parts are a reported downside), it will still take several units to add up to the cheapest thing on the web water softener floggers' sites, and twice that to get to the local plumbers' / treatment companies' pricing. Since the longest warrantee from any of them is only two of the warrantee from the el cheapo option, I'll take my chances with needing to swap out a unit from time to time.
I've always had good results with the Sears Kenmore units -- three different ones, over the years, in different houses. Wait for them to go on sale, then get one of the models with "on-demand" regeneration (as opposed to using a timer). They use much less salt, and do a much better job of keeping the water at a more-or-less-uniform level of softness.
I priced one recently for a friend - for the same capacity, $800 online compared to $4k from a local dealer. Tanks and control appeared identical. Local version claimed better media, but I couldn't find anything beyond advertising hype to back that up. The difference in price could be put towards more useful stuff, like diet pizza or magnetic gas savers. :-)
You didn't say what died on the old softener but this may help:
My softener is a decent Sears unit originally put in service in 1976. My city water comes in at 85 psi and has some iron/clay sediment. The high pressure churns the grains, the sediment slowly poisons the resin. Every
10 years or so I tear the unit down, clean out the dirt residue out of the brine tank from the salt cubes, bring the resin tank in to have new resin installed, I'm good to go. They softener place charged me $85 for the resin if I installed it, $115 if they installed it. They have a upside down wash bed, takes them 10 minutes to flush and refill.
The refill place is about 60 miles from you,work could be d> After only 22 years, it looks like the water softener has died. The SO got
I'm sure the resin is shot. The machine goes through its cycles, water doesn't get soft. been getting worse slowly for years. The SO decided she was pissed, still good enough for me. Didn't know of this option, will they redo a Culligan and can you give me a name /number? if you'd rather email, karltownsendembarqmail.com replace the with @
My Kenetico is around 15 years old. I have heavy iron and iron bacteria. It still works well and has had very little maintenances in that time. A few plastic gears had to be replaced and having the service guy come out cost $120. The most expensive thing is buy the salt. Other systems that I had need new media every year. I came out in the long run.
Here in the UK, we can get a permutit model from B& Q for =A3550 for a fully automatic unti that does the regeneration only as required. My folks had an earlier type that lasted over 30 years with no problems, including four house moves. I have recently installed a unit I bought from e-bay, also permutit.
Installation is very simple, all thats really required is a bit of basic plumbing knowledge and the place to put it Regards Good luck Dennis
A lot depends on how hard your water is to start with and what's in it. If you're using well water that's got a lot of iron in it or other chemicals that need pre-treatment, it's going to get expensive. If you've just got moderately hard water, you can probably get by with a cheapy unit. My dad swapped three different units in his place, the first was a Sears that had the brine tank under pressure, required draining it, a wrench to get the lid off, lots of petroleum jelly to seal the O-ring on the lid and a giant funnel to get the salt into it. Not a lot of fun. Later ones were a lot easier, just a plastic bin to dump in the salt, not under pressure and no big strain to fill up, not like the 5' tank that the old one had. The second one got zapped by lightning, was cheaper to go get a new one than to replace the controller board. Lots more plastic parts on the newer ones, a lot more easily man-handled into place, too. The on-demand feature more than pays for itself. I think the last one wasn't more than two or three hundred bucks from the likes of Menard. He got smart that time and put in a surge protector on the outlet. Also put in a sediment filter on the input line to the thing, the place had iron pipes and stuff was always flaking off. Had to change the filter about every 4-5 months as they got filled up. 3 grand seems a little outrageous to me, you could go get 4 or 5 spares for that kind of cash outlay, change them every couple of years if you had to and be money ahead. Seems like '60s prices. Over the years, the basic technology is the same, but the controllers and construction keep getting cheaper to buy.
My better half was NOT interested in repairing the old unit. "You just got a Plasma Cutter!" I can see that Plasma cutter is getting expensive. No sooner did I make this purchase than she pointed out we need a new front screen door. Repair was suggested, but not received as an option.
That Fleck softener looks OK to me. I used to sell water softeners as a sideline many years ago. Ole Rice built them in his garage. I bought one from him so that made me a dealer. Much to my surprise, I sold a number of Ole's softeners over the years. He used Autotrol controllers. The one I have in my house is nearing 30 years of service, still workin' fine. Ole expired a decade ago.